LG Life Sciences (LGLS) is a Korea-based pharmaceutical company that tops other local pharmaceutical companies in the ratio of R&D contributions to sales. The company ranks 2nd in its reliance on exports for sales revenue, posting 43.6 percent, almost 3.6 times higher than the average for Korean pharmaceutical companies, which is 11.3 percent.
Among the leading export products are Euvax B, a hepatitis B vaccine, and Factive, an antibiotic. In particular, Euvax B, accounting for 50 percent of U.N. relief supplies, is exported to 70 overseas markets and has earned US$200 million in revenue so far. The U.S. FDA approved Factive in 2012, and since then it has been prescribed in 200 million cases in the U.S. under a sales agreement with Oscient, thereby assuring both users and medical professionals of the safety of the drug. Prior to a full-fledged sales campaign in the U.S., LGLS is simultaneously seeking to open markets in 50 countries by signing sales contracts with 13 pharmaceutical companies around the world, including Pfizer in the U.S., Abbott in Canada, Menarini in Europe, Livzon in China and aRigen in Japan. In addition to the U.S., Factive has received sales authorizations in 23 countries including Canada, Mexico, Russia, China, Brazil and Turkey.
According to LGLS, underlying the successful performances of overseas markets is the company’s persistent devotion to R&D investment. LGLS is known for maintaining the highest levels of R&D investment among local pharmaceutical companies in Korea, posting 17 to18 percent of its sales as R&D investment.
For R&D, LGLS is focusing on treatments for metabolic diseases, biopharmaceuticals and vaccines. Also at the same time, LGLS looks to increase the contribution of overseas sales from the current level of 45 percent to 60 percent.
Thanks to aggressive R&D investment amounting to 47 billion won, LGLS could develop the nation’s first diabetes treatment, Gemiglo. Gemiglo is the 19th new drug developed by a domestic pharmaceutical company and fifth new diabetes treatment in the world.
LGLS hosted a four-day symposium in September 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden, at the European Society of Diabetes, a global authority in the field of treatments for diabetes. For the first time as a Korean pharmaceutical company, LGLS presented the results of a variety of clinical studies, informing international medical personnel of the superior effectiveness and stability of the first domestic diabetes treatment.
Through a partnership with multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi Inc., LGLS signed R&D and sales agreements for Gemiglo in 79 countries including India, Russia, Middle Eastern countries and African countries. In 2013, additional sales contracts were penned for 23 more countries including Mexico, Venezuela and Columbia. Currently, Gemilo is expected to be launched in 105 countries in total.
LGLS leads the biopharmaceutical market in Korea with the number one sales of Eutropin, a drug specializing in human growth hormone; osteoarthritis therapeutic drugs HyruanPlus and Synovian; and infertility treatment Follitrope.
In addition, YVOIRE, the first domestically developed cosmetic filler product, succeeded in dominating the local market, replacing imported products only three years after its launch. In China, the growth rate of the sales of YVOIRE posts 200 percent annually. YVOIRE will be launched in 30 overseas countries including Russia and many countries in Europe.
Equipped with superior technology, LGLS is Korea's largest vaccine exporter, too. The company also received certificates from renowned international institutions like the WTO for vaccine production facilities featuring global standards. Through the overseas sales of the meningitis vaccine and five-in-one liquid vaccine, LGLS seeks to expand overseas sales of the vaccine business.